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George Lisle

Sir George Lisle (c. 1610 – 28 August 1648) was a Royalist leader in the English Civil War. Lisle's execution without trial, following the siege of Colchester, came to be regarded as a serious miscarriage of justice and Lisle himself was seen as a martyr to the Royalist cause. The known facts suggest that Lisle came from London and was related in some way to George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. He gained military experience in the army of the Prince of Orange during the 1630s. He served under Prince Rupert in the Dutch Wars, and was a captain in Lord Grandison's Regiment during the Bishops' War in Scotland. By 1644, Lisle had become a colonel. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Naseby, and was knighted by King Charles I in December 1645, at which time he held the position of Master of the Household.[1] Captured by the enemy following the siege of Colchester in 1648, he was taken out to be executed by firing squad, along with his friend Charles Lucas.

Colchester Castle Lucas and Lisle monument

Lucas was first to face the firing squad and after long deliberations opened his shirt and encouraged, “Now rebels, do your worst”. Lisle was next, and having kissed his dead comrade invited the firing squad to come closer. The officer in charge exclaimed, “Sir, I warrant we will hit you”. Sir George smiled and replied, “I have been nearer to you, friend, when you missed me”. After short prayers he rose from his knees, opened his shirt and he too invited the enemy to ‘do their worst’.[1]


  1. The Knights of England. p. 220. 

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